Fornix sells medical supplies unit to Rochester


Dutch biotech Fornix BioSciences said on Thursday it will sell its medical supplies unit Laprolan to Rochester Medical for 10.35 million euros ($13.5 million), largely completing the company's unwinding.

The sale completes a series of divestments Fornix launched early last year after it lost a crucial court ruling that prevented insurers from reimbursing patients for Fornix's grass allergy product, severely limiting the firm's growth potential.

Fornix has since sold the company's allergy unit to Danish-based drugs firm ALK-Abello for 19.6 million euros and has sold its German unit Artu Biologicals to Rolke Pharma earlier this month for a minimal sum.

"We are convinced that we have found in Rochester Medical the right partner to ensure a continued solid basis for Laprolan, its customers and employees and pleased to have completed the planned divestments", Fornix's supervisory board chairman Erik van de Merwe said in a statement.

In the same statement, Fornix said Chief Executive Cees Bergman will leave the company on April 30, but will continue to be available for a limited period of time after that date.

Fornix said it continues to explore a reverse merger or takeover of Fornix, but failing this option, the next steps would a possible liquidation and subsequent de-listing.

Investment fund Value8 said on Wednesday it now holds a 24.91 percent stake in Fornix, up from 16.3 percent. Value8 has in the past said it was keen on obtaining Fornix's share listing.

The effective date of the transaction with U.S.-based Rochester is Jan 1, 2011 and is subject to approval of Fornix's shareholders at an EGM. Fornix's supervisory board has recommended the deal.